Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelson, Nicholas Hoult, Alexa Davalos, Jason Flemyng, Pete Postlethwaite
Spyros: The bond between us, it’s much more than just flesh and bone. The love we have for you…it’s that love that gods and kings fight over.
Mankind has grown tired of the gods ruling their lives, so they rebel. Zeus (Neeson) is not happy about this, and allows his brother, Hades (Fiennes), to put mankind in its place. But the gods didn’t count on there being a demigod (half man, half god), Perseus (Worthington), living amongst the humans and willing to fight for them.
I used to watch the 1981 version of this a lot when I was a kid, but I suppose I just let all of the boring talk about mankind rebelling against the gods go right over my head while I waited for the giant scorpions, Medusa, and the Kraken to show up. While watching this remake, I came to the realization that, despite having seen it numerous times, I had no real concept as to what the Clash of the Titans story was about. There were just too many silly distractions in the original for me to care about the story.
Well, that’s not as true for the 2010 version. It’s a little more serious, and a little less fun. This version only betters the original in a few scenes. Most notably, the giant scorpion sequence. That was pretty cool.
It’s not terrible, though. Sam Worthington is good, there’s some good action, and a few funny moments. But overall, it often just seems like it’s going through the motions. There’s no heart to it. As is often the case nowadays, the characters get lost in a sea of computer generated imagery. It’s impressive imagery at times, but that’s not enough to elevate it above all the other big budget special effects extravaganzas we keep seeing.
Plus, there were two major disappoints for me. One, Medusa. She was much scarier and interesting in the original. The Harryhausen stop motion effects actually worked better for her than the slick computer generated effects do. And where was the two-headed dog guarding her lair?? I was pumped to see them fight that thing, but alas, it never showed.
The second big disappointment was the Kraken. Booooorrrrring. He’s barely in it, then when we finally see him, he’s just a sort of nondescript tentacle monster. I prefer the weirder 1981 version with the rock hard abs.
Of course, the Juno version is the cutest of the Krakens…
All in all, while I never felt particularly bored during the movie, I did notice my interest in the characters’ plight waning as the end approached. Maybe that’s a product of me knowing where the story was going, but if that’s the case, a good movie should be enjoyable even if you know how it’s going to end. It should be more about the ride and not just the destination.
In this case, the ride was tolerable, but nothing special. And it was sorely lacking a mechanical owl…
Don’t mess with the gods…unless you yourself are at least part god, in which case, have at ’em.
10 – 2 for the characters getting drowned out by all the effects – 1 for it all seeming like just a series of set pieces – 1 for a lame Kraken and lame Medusa = 6.0